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Hal Needham
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (March 6, 1931-October 25, 2013)
    Born in Memphis, Tennessee
    Frequent stunt double for Burt Reynolds and Clint Walker
    Directed 'Smokey and the Bandit' (1977), 'Hooper' (1978), 'Smokey and the Bandit II' (1980), 'The Cannonball Run' (1981), 'Megaforce' (1982), 'Stroker Ace' (1983), 'Cannonball Run II' (1984), 'Rad' (1986) and 'Body Slam' (1987)
    Co-owner of NASCAR's Skoal Bandit race team
    Wrote 'Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life' (2011)
    Received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Taurus World Stunt Awards (2001)
    He was a billboard model for Viceroy Cigarettes.
    'Cannonball Run' was based on his participation in an actual illegal coast-to-coast race.
    He was nominated for three Golden Razzies as worst director.
    He was married three times and divorced twice.
    He spent the 70s living in the pool house on Burt Reynolds' estate and said of that period, 'I hated to go home except three sheets to the wind at two o'clock in the morning.'
    He was a paratrooper during the Korean War.
    He broke 56 bones during his career as a stuntman.
    He introduced airbags to stunt work after seeing one being used at a college pole vaulting match.
    He won an Oscar and an Emmy for developing the Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane.
    He summed up his directing career by taking out a trade ad placing quotes from negative reviews of his movies around a picture of a wheelbarrow full of money.

Credit: C. Fishel

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